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Dak Prescott Probably Isn’t the Future

I don’t blame you for getting excited about the Cowboys’ drafting of quarterback Dak Prescott. It had been seven years since the Cowboys spent any draft pick on the position, going back to Stephen McGee in 2009. With rising concern about Tony Romo’s longevity, any addition of new talent at quarterback was a welcome sight. However, we really need to check our enthusiasm. Like McGee before him, Prescott is just a fourth-round pick.

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Dak Prescott Probably Isn't the Future

I don't blame you for getting excited about the Cowboys' drafting of quarterback Dak Prescott. It had been seven years since the Cowboys spent any draft pick on the position, going back to Stephen McGee in 2009. With rising concern about Tony Romo's longevity, any addition of new talent at quarterback was a welcome sight.

Cowboys Draft - Cowboys Should be Happy to "Settle" for Dak Prescott 1However, we really need to check our enthusiasm. Like McGee before him, Prescott is just a fourth-round pick. You go back 20 years and see that most fourth-round quarterbacks don't end up any better than McGee did. Those that do hardly became franchise players; mostly career backups and just a couple of decent starters.

The majority end up out of the league in just a few years, many never earning a second contract and some never even seeing the end of their rookie deal. Here's a look at every fourth-round quarterback taken from 1996-2012:

SUCCESSES BACKUPS FAILURES
1999 - Aaron Brooks
2002 - David Garrard
2005 - Kyle Orton
2012 - Kirk Cousins
1996 - Danny Kanell
1997 - Danny Wuerffel
2001 - Sage Rosenfels
2001 - Chris Weinke
2003 - Seneca Wallace
2004 - Luke McCown
1996 - Jeff Lewis
1997 - Pat Barnes
1999 - Joe Germaine
2001 - Jesse Palmer
2002 - Rohan Davey
2005 - Stefan LeFors
2009 - Stephen McGee
2010 - Mike Kafka

 

It's a little early to label the guys taken after 2012, since many of them have yet to ever hit free agency or get much opportunity to develop. However, this list is hardly inspiring: Tom Savage. Logan Thomas, Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, and Bryce Petty. I don't see too many Pro Bowl coming out of that group. Hell, I'll be surprised if any of them ever earn starting jobs.

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Class: The Power Of 4

Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Even if Prescott manages to be a rare fourth-round success, check out those four guys again. Would you really want any of them as your starting quarterback? Brooks and Orton had solid years but plenty of weaknesses. Garrard was the best of the group and even made a Pro Bowl, but he was hardly an elite player. As for Cousins, Washington was too scared to commit long-term and gave him the franchise tag.

I know what you're thinking; "Where a guy gets drafted doesn't matter! Anyone has a chance to become a star!"

You're absolutely right, of course. We live in a post-Tom Brady and Tony Romo world that allows for you to dream about a quarterback's potential regardless of where he was drafted, or if he was even drafted at all. But nevertheless, let's not delude ourselves.

Cowboys Headlines - Dak Prescott Probably Isn't the Future 1

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The "chance" of a rookie quarterback becoming a star, as proven over decades of drafting, drops with every round. Even though they can certainly be wrong at times, scouts ultimately know what they're doing and guys get drafted high or low based on their perceived talent and potential. Some may slip through the cracks, but that table above shows you just how spot-on the scouts usually are.

That's why we have to measure our expectations. If Prescott becomes a solid career backup then he's already done better than the majority of fourth-round quarterbacks. Anything beyond that puts him in rare company.

If he's the next in line from Staubach to Aikman to Romo, then that means he's the best fourth-round quarterback since at least Rich Gannon in 1987 or even Joe Theismann in 1971.

In other words, don't hold your breath.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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14 Comments
  • Brent

    I have been watching the draft since the 80's. I have been studying players for the draft since the 90's. I look at highlights of the players, combine footage and watch the Senior Bowl repeatedly. I did not like any of the players that have been listed as previous 4th round picks. I do however like Dak Prescott. He is a leader that gets the job done but has the talent as well. I believe his being a 4th round pick had more to do with other needs teams have. How many teams this year absolutely needed a QB? Drafting a QB is a crap shoot Rounds 1 through the undrafted. A lot depends on the situation they go to, the players they're surrounded with and the coaching. Dallas was the best place Dak could have landed and I am excited. Yes, I would have taken Carson Wentz, Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch but I believe the Cowboys played this draft well and and am glad we had a little luck missing out on Connor Cook as I was not that impressed. I do realize that Dak still has a ways to go and Romo is our best chance for the next few years. But it's okay to be excited the Dak fell into our laps when he did. Of course, this is just one Cowboys fan and draft geek's opinion. Thanks for listening.

  • Ashley Robinson

    What round was Tony Romo drafted again?

  • Keith

    Tom Brady was a sixth round pick. Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent. Russell Wilson was taken just one round earlier and he already has a Super Bowl ring. (And a crushing Super Bowl defeat.) True, the odds are not great that Dak will be a franchise quarterback. The reality is each situation and player is unique. I suggest we see how Dak does on the field this preseason before we start making any pronouncements on his future.

    • Jess Haynie

      I'll be delighted for Dak to go against history. But until we do see him on the field, all we have to go by is precedent. And clearly, it speaks pretty loudly against him. Thanks for reading.

  • Jess Haynie

    I'm excited that you're excited, Brent. I guess my biggest concern is that guys like Cook and Hackenburg weren't getting people very excited and yet they still went ahead of Prescott. Heck, we even know that Dallas was trying to move up for Cook before they ultimately took Dak. Just cause for concern.

  • Jess Haynie

    Yes, Romo and Brady. Pretty sure I addressed them in the article. That's two players out of 20 years of drafting. Really want to put your eggs in that basket?

  • Randy Martin

    Jess your such a Debbie Downer dashing the hopes of Cowboy fandom! Yeah choosing a franchise QB in the 4th round is a bit like getting lightning in a bottle but it can happen. Yes we should certainly temper our enthusiasm but I'd like to see a training camp and pre-season and more before leaping to this conclusion based strictly on draft position. Dang it, if we had only drafted him in the first round then he would have been the franchise QB we are looking for!

    • Jess Haynie

      The crazy thing is that first-round guys are about a 50/50 proposition, too. The only difference there is that the guys who do work out usually end up being way better than the likes of Aaron Brooks and Kyle Orton. Obviously, I want for Prescott to be the next big thing. It would be delightful. I just felt the need to remind everyone of how incredibly rare that is based on where he was drafted.

  • Robert

    I agree with Jesse

  • Rick

    What an ignorant article. Clearly knows nothing about football

    • http://www.PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Hope you saw the date the article was written. Also hope you actually read it to see the point I was making.

      I LOVE that Dak looks like he may beat the odds! Still, doesn’t change the history that he’s overcoming.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      What an ignorant comment. You obviously didn’t read the article before commenting on it. Eagles fan?

  • Monica Smith Edwards

    looking forward to reading your future article where you fully address the plate of crow sitting on your dinner table. #DakAttack if you had watched ANY film of Dak during his 4 years as a record breaking QB where he took a ho hum Mississippi State football team all the way to #1 in the polls, you would have written a different article. one that marveled at the luck of the Cowboys to pick up this gem of a QB in the 4th round. #WeBelieve #HAILSTATE #SaturdaytoSunday #DaksmyQuarterback #PutaStarOnIt

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      haha Touché.

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Terrance Williams
Ric Tapia via AP

An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw

However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.

In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.

The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.

It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.

We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler

John Williams

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5 Bye Week Adjustments Cowboys Hopefully Made

The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.

According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.

Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.

He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.

To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.

If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.

This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.

Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?



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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

Sean Martin

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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon's Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.

Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.

The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.

Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.

His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.

Last season,  Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.

The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.

Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi

I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.

Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.

If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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